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Code Talker Keith Little
FORT DEFIANCE, ARIZONA - Keith Little, who served as president of the Navajo Code Talkers Association, passed away last night at the Tsehootsooi Medical Center in Fort Defiance. Mr. Little was 87.
Keith Little served as a Navajo Code Talker with the US Marine Corps from December of 1943 until after the war. He joined the US Marine Corps when he was only 17.
He fought in numerous engagements World War II, including battles in the Marshall Islands, Sai Pan, and Iwo Jima.
Like most of the Navajo Code Talkers, he wasn't aware of the significance of his contribution to the war effort until much later in life. It was only then that he understood the importance of documenting their story for posterity.
In conversation about his hopes for the new museum, he speaks with certitude of his desire to teach the younger generations of the importance of striving for excellence and of serving above and beyond the call of duty. Promoting a greater understanding of the Navajo culture, traditions and way of life is a cause he also holds dear. When asked he wanted "to protect our people, land and country."
The driving force of the National Navajo Code Talkers Museum & Veterans Center project, a national treasure - his vision will carry the Foundation forward. His valor, and that of all of the Navajo Code Talkers will be forever honored through the completion of the Museum & Veterans Center. Mr. Little's wife, Nellie, stressed her husband's commitment and dedication to the project and urges everyone to continue supporting and working to make their dream a reality.
The family will receive family, relatives and friends at a Family Meeting beginning at 2:00 pm on Thursday, January 5 at the Crystal Chapter House in Crystal, New Mexico. Donations toward the funeral expense will be accepted at this time.
A public memorial service is being planned for Friday, January 6 in Window Rock, Arizona, with the funeral service scheduled for Saturday, January 7 in Fort Defiance, Arizona.
In lieu of floral tributes, his wife Nellie and his family, encourage contributions be made to the National Navajo Code Talkers Museum & Veterans Center project in his honor. He had a deep commitment to preserving the legacy of the Navajo Code Talkers and the Navajo language, along with a high regard for all Veterans and the men and woman of the Armed Forces. Donations to support the Museum and Veterans project that Mr. Little envisioned and was very much committed to can be made through www.navajocodetalkers.org or by contacting Wynette Arviso at 1-505-870-9167.
posted January 4, 2011 3:30 pm est
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